The White House has announced that President Bush intends to renominate 20 of his most controversial picks for the federal courts, including those who were blocked by Democratic filibusters. “The childish message to Senate Democrats could hardly be clearer: I dare you to try filibustering them again,” wrote the Washington Post editorial board.
Among President Bush’s intended nominees to be placed once again before the Senate are several who are ardently opposed to abortion rights, women’s rights, civil rights, and environmental protections. These include Janice Rogers Brown, who voted in favor of California's parental consent statute and voted against a ruling that would stop racially discriminatory speech in a work place because, she wrote, racist remarks at work are protected by the First Amendment; William Pryor, who called the 1973 US Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade "the worst abomination of constitutional law in our history," and "the day seven members of our high court ripped the Constitution and ripped out the life of millions of unborn children"; and William Myers, who was opposed not only for his views on reproductive rights but also because of his decades of fighting for the rights of cattle ranchers and the mining industry over the protection of the environment and the rights of Native Americans.
After the 2004 election, the US Senate is made up of 55 Republicans, 44 Democrats, and one Independent. It takes only 41 votes to sustain a filibuster. However, Senate Republicans have been threatening to employ a “nuclear option” which would disallow filibusters on judicial nominations so that confirmation of nominees would require only a simple 51-vote majority. New Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (NV) has vowed to use procedural measures to slow Senate business to a crawl if Republicans try to change the rules on filibusters, according to USA Today.
The Feminist Majority is part of a broad coalition of women’s rights, civil rights, lesbian and gay rights, environmental, labor, and disability rights groups that has been urging Senate Democrats to filibuster extremist, right-wing nominees to the federal courts.
5/1/2015 House Reverses DC Law Banning Reproductive Health Discrimination by Employers - The US House of Representatives voted Thursday night to overturn a Washington, DC, law that makes it illegal for employers to retaliate against employees who use their insurance to cover procedures like in-vitro fertilization or abortion and contraception like birth control pills and IUDs for themselves, their spouses, or their children.
The District's council passed the Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Amendment Act last year. . . .
4/30/2015 400 Women and Children Have Been Rescued From Boko Haram in Nigeria - In two different operations in under a week, Nigerian troops have rescued more than 400 women and children who had been kidnapped by Boko Haram.
On Tuesday, Nigerian troops announced they rescued 200 girls and 93 women from Boko Haram - and today news has come out that troops rescued another 160 women and children.
While the news is promising and shows progress made in Nigeria to combat Boko Haram, the girls rescued were not the Chibok girls who inspired the #BringBackOurGirls movement last year. . . .
4/29/2015 Hillary Clinton Calls for Criminal Justice Reform and an End to Mass Incarceration - Hillary Clinton delivered the keynote address at the 18th Annual Dinkins Leadership and Public Policy Forum today, addressing directly criminal justice reforms she would like to see to prevent another "incarceration generation."
"It's time the end the era of mass incarceration," Clinton declared to much applause, citing statistics about the disproportionately higher rate of incarceration that black men in America face. . . .